obama congratulated the new prime minister ease says he looks forward to working with him on a wide range of issues. the replys that alie unwith the united states will continue to be the corner stone of japan's diplomacy. he belong a stroong alie suns necessary for peace wab and prosperity in the asia pacific region. the two leaders agreed to try to arrange their first summit talks in late september on the side lines of a a general assembly meeting in new york. nada will launch his cabinet friday afternoon. a close aid. become chief cabinet secretary. the top government spokesperson. former education minister and the ruling democratic parties former affairs committee chief will join the cabinet. national policy minister will be given a new cabinet post.
reconstruction minister and nuclear crisis minister will retain their posts. former party secretary-general who supported noda in the democrat's recent presidential election will not assume a cabinet post. it'll officially be launched with a ceremony with the emperor at the imperial palace. he will speak about policies at a news conference. joining us now from our business desk, the strong yen is a for the japanese firms. the fact that it is continuing for the record high levels is raising red flags. >> it certainly is, katherine. thank you very much for that. japanese government survey shows that about a third of small and medium size enterprises in gentleman japan plan production if the yen stays at its record-high levels. the agency, part of the industry ministry, surveyed about 90 small and medium-sides firms
nationwide. 73% of the respondent's said the exchange rate of around 77 yen to the dollar reduced profits. 28% said they would increase overseas production if the strong yen at current levels continued for more than six months while 17% said they would move their research and development and production abroad. 13% said foreign countries have offered them favorable conditions to attract their manufacturing investments. these include tax breaks and free electricity. the industry ministry plans to consider measures to persuade these firms to continue their operations in japan. and over in the united states, manufacturing slowed down once again in august. the institute for supply management's manufacturing index dipped to 50.6. that's down 0.3 percentage points from july. the index reaching the lowest level from two years but the read slg better than what many
economists had been forecasting. the consensus is a drop to around 48.5. the index is now right along the boom or bust line of 50, readings above 50 signal an extension in the sector. the institute said overall sentiment is one of concern and caution over the domestic and international economic environment. now let's get a check on the markets. u.s. stocks fell after four days of gains as markets are cautious ahead of the key jobs data out later today. for details, we cross over to ramin at the tokyo stock exchange. there is an announce many of a new prime minister line-up here in japan. how are stocks kicking off here this friday morning. >> good friday morning to you. a bit after negative start actually following on from the u.s. sessions. let's look at the opening levels and you can see there quite
clearly the nikkei down. it closed in the positive yesterday and actually also closed above 9,000 for the first time in two weeks but we are seeing a decline here right now and we are likely to see investors tread a bit more carefully today ahead of those key u.s. jobs numbers. as you mentioned, ism manufacturing in the u.s. showed a slight drop in august but the contraction was a lot less than what economists expected and still showing an expansion. however, the affect for europe was not as good. we did see a contraction there in the pmi figure. just a look at the currency levels you can see there that the euro actually lost ground amidst all of that following the ism numbers. both in the u.s. and the contraction in the european manufacturing number as well. currently trading around 109. that compares to 111 just a couple of days ago. now the strong yen was las bit
after factor in auto sales numbers. we had auto sales numbers for august in the yesterday. and that showed declines for the likes of toyota and honda for the month of august compared to a year earlier. toyota dropping close to 13% and honda around 24 percent in sales. nissan bucked the trend a little bit and actually showeded gains of around 19%. now, japan's own domestic sales numbers showing a contraction over all of just over 25%. again, discorruptions from older parts supplies since the march 11 disaster playing into those numbers as well. also, on the political front, as you mentioned there, some focus on the new cabinet of newly appointed prime minister noda. that will also be a factor. we will see how that plays into the markets. for now, much lower in the first few minutes of trading. back to you. >> all right, ramin, thanks a t.
here some good news for entertainment fe that the knicks japan. hooloo launched a subscription service in the country. hulu on thursday began offering unlimited access to u.s. entertainment content, including hundreds of movies and tv dramas for about $19 a month. the contents are accessible through internet connected devices, including tvs, smart phones and tablets. hulu was founded by a leading u.s. media firms four years ago. it offers on demand access to premium hollywood movies and popular tv shows. hulu has grown rapidly and has over a million subscribers. the company's executive says he hopes to boost demand by making content not only from the u.s. but also japan and asia available through the service. >> the first ever expansion by a u.s. on-line video service to
japan is expected to heat up competition among domestic on-line distributors. now, a recap of the latest market figures. snas that's all for now in business. back to katherine now. >> thanks very much, ai. libya's new interim ruler extend et the deadline for gadhafi's forces to surrender until september 10th. the national transitional
council warned gadhafi supporters to surrender by this coming saturday, september 3rd, or face an all-out offensive. but has now extended the deadline by one week. the council sites progress in peace negotiationes with loyalists there as a reason. thousands of rebel troops are besieging and advancing to two other loyalist towns. one is 150 clom tors southeast of tripoli. under a statement on television, gadhafi urges supporters to fight on. [ speaking foreign language ] gadhafi reportedly fled tripoli after rebels took over most of the capitol city last
month. the dictator is supposedly hiding. lifting its sanctions on some of libya's assets to help the government rehabilitate the country. foreign policy chief katherine ashton said in statement on thursday that the union's asset freeze on 28 entities will end immediately. it includes a freeze on banks, and six libyan ports. including gadhafi and his family as well on their ban on visits to europe remain in effect. >> -- we can to the transitional council in their efforts to rebuild economy to start economy going to start the, not only the transition process, but also the rebuilding of libya. for the future for the good future of the libyan people. >> libya's national transitional council welcomed to the
decision. >> we need to get access to our frozen funds everywhere. we need the international community to support us with lifting sanctions on our vital functions. we do basically plead to the international community to help us out on this. >> south korean and u.s. forces staged a military drill in south korea amid threats by north korea. the drill at a firing range in the demilitary zone including the mobilization of the u.s. military u.s.-model tanks deploy to south korea in august. featuring attack held coppers. the forces jointly practice launching attackes om the air and ground while approaching targets. the commander of u.s. forces in south korea general james termin observed the drill. he sent in, or rather stressed
that the two nations are fully prepared for any provocation by the north. >> the important message is we will stay trained and ready as long as i'm the commander of unc command forces command and united states forces korea. forces say they will remain vigilant against the north as its leader kim jung ill transfers powero his son. north korea released footage to the trial voyage after ship that has been idle since being banned entry into japanese ports. it was crowded with passengers when it left on tuesday. after a gala ceremony. rason reisn'tly developed a zone with china in north korea's northeast. north korea recently decided to reassign the ship to carrying chinese tourists. apparently to secure much needed foreign currency.
the ship arrived on wednesday. among those on board the ship were some chi hemnes tourists. >> translator: this is the maden voyage, so i have high expectation oes. if this goes well, we will come regularly in the future. >> however, many shops there we inremain closed. the resort suffered a setback three years ago when a north korean guard shot and killed a south korean tourist prompting south korea to suspend tours. they had run service between japan and north korea carrying supplies as well as north korean residents in japan making trips back home. japan barred the ship's entry in 2006 after the north test fired plistic missiles into the sea of japan. >> the march 11th disaster.
the september 11th attacks. two anniversaries, one source for indepth coverage beginning september 5. then on sunday, september 11th, we will mark the anniversaries. 2:30 p.m. japan time for the 3/11 disaster. 9:40 p.m. for the 9/11 attacks. japan's nuclear safety agency instructed tokyo electric power company to improve safety measures at its crippled fukushima daiichi plant. the safety agency says another worker was sprayed with vad raid why active water while working on a contaminated water treatment system on wednesday. the agency said the total amount of radiation, which the male subcontractor was exposed to during the shift wab was below the limit and it did not afact his health. earlier wednesday, two other
workers were showered with radio active water while working on the same system. on sunday, two tepco workers were exposed to betto rays, a type of radiation. the utility had not set exposure limits for beta rays. the nuclear agency says the utility failed it make use of past experiences with radiation exposure. it also said tepco was late in reporting the most recent ins dep. japan observes disaster prevention day on september 1st to remember the massive quake in tokyo 88 years ago that killed more than 100,000 people. every year, anti-disaster drills are held around the nation on this day. this year's focus was on rescue evacuation and guidings stranded commuters reflecting the recent experience of the march 11 quake and tsunami. nhk reports. >> the 7.3 magnitude quake reached tokyo.
headquarters were at a train station. >> held in tokyo -- [ inaudible ] officials guided stranded passengers and commuters to safety. about 700 people took part. the march 11th quake -- people left to stations in search of information when the train stopped. >> translator: many people were stranded at the station. the staff really couldn't help us because there were so much confusion. >> stations practiced helping passengers get off the train. and guiding them to a safe place.
a crowd of people who gathered in front of the station were in two groups. those who could walk home and the others who could not. they were guide bid police officers. the officers were blocking roads and led people to shelters for a future quake. >> translator: i hope this experience will pay off some day. when an earthquake really occurs. >> translator: i want to know how many people the shelter can accommodate. and how far away it is. >> translator: on march 11th, we couldn't effectively guide the crowds of people gathered around the entrance and that caused much confusion. provided stranded passengers with ak accurate information is crucial so we will discuss how
to prepare for the next major earthquake. >> experts say a big earthquake could hit in the near future. it is right below the city, 3.9 million people could be surrounded in tokyo. nhk world, tokyo. >> we want to take a minute to tell but special programming we will bring you next week starting monday. japan, six months on, will feature reports and analysis leading up to the six-month anniversary of this country's devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. the 9.0 magnitude earthquake was followed by a tsunami. it swamped towns and city.
nearly 16,000 people died and 4500 are still missing. the survivors lost almost everything. and many of them are still facing challenges. six months on will bring you stories from the hardest hit areas. we will start monday in iwate prefecture. find out how the support of a community in tokyo helped people in the port city of myako as they were to rebuild a vital area. a group of volunteers is helping kill up ishinomaki. pe will tell you how successful they have been been then we will travel to fukushima on wednesday. we will show what you happened in the town of namie. on thursday and friday we will bring you our weekly segments, nuclear watch and the road ahead, so you can stay updated on the nuclear crisis and how
japan's energy policy a schaejing. our special program starts monday. do stay tune fed are that. time to check on se of the world's stories we have gathered from broadcasters around asia. we begin with this item sent by irib iran and irtm malaysia. muslim nations are joining the fight against familiar inin so somalia whwhwhwha wh fwh f shortage continues. four medical teams were sent along with ninth installment of aid to the muslim majority nation where more than 30,000 children under five have already died. the delivery raises iran's contribution to 300 tons of food and medicine worth about $2 million. earlier this week, malaysia sent a medical team with 250 tons of food and medical supplies. officials say the aid is bound for 45,000 families in the horn of africa.
malaysia also launched a program to adopt somali children who lost parents in the ongoing familiar in. 11 children will soon head for malaysia. thailand's public health minister on wednesday opened the eight national herb expo near bangkok. the government hopes to encourage the use of domestic herb al medicines to cut foreign drug imports by $166 million annually. promoting herbs such as asian penny wart, which is reputed to boost concentration. turmeric to pro tech against intest al cancer. silk to fight facial wrinkles. and clover to strengthen teeth and gums. other attractions at the three-day event include thai spas and massage. an international surfing contest kicked off in southeastern vee lanka on
wednesday. the country's tourism department and i have lanka airlines arranged the five-day event. more than 50 surfers from 21 countries are taking part. female athletes are competing for the first time. the event is expected to highlight the suit built of the coast for surfing and beach sports. hi there, welcome to your weather update. let's look at what is happening across japan. typhoon is moving close to mainland japan. it is bringing widespread heavy rain ease well as thunder storms. it is expected to turn very, very stormy today. it looks like it'll make land here some time during evernight hours as a strong typhoon before continuing to move in the northerly direction towards the sea of japan tp does t does
remain a very large storm system. very strong system. so the results of course could be devastating. it has been impacting much with heavy rain the last few days. . well over 300 millimeters. reaching 420 in part of nara as well. we will only see more rain. rainfall reaching its peak and to get a better idea if we look at next 24 hours we be talking up to 220 millimeters down in kinky and we certainly see more than that up to 700 millimeters occur in next 24 hours. so flooding is going to be a big risk in many areas, coastal flood willing as well as to watch out for, a very, very stormy conditions. now let's head over to the america americas then. we see a tropical storm form over the gulf of mexico over the
next 48 hours. it is getting quite stormy along the gulf coast of the u.s. and pockets of heavy showers will continue as well. but it does remain, relatively dry across much of the urs. little bit windy across the southern portions of the country. we do have red-flag warnings in places like oklahoma. now severe weather conditions expected up in the north for minnesota, wisconsin, across central canada mainly for ontario tonight into your friday. temperatures warming up here today. storms coming in at 30 degrees np chicago stays hot and in oklahoma city as well. finally taking a look at europe, we see this very developed system moving in from the west. this is in fact remnants of what was hurricane irene at one point. it is expected to be wet across the british isles. as well as plenty of rain it occur. down into southwest as well, active low pressure system
doesry main off-shore here and it continues to bring lots of showers across spain and portugal. thunderstorms and hail as well. but for central and eastern europe will stay relatively quiet and settled. lots of air from this active system. temperatures rising across much of central and western europe. 29 in paris and coming in at 26 degrees in london. that's all for me just now and here is your extended forecast.
our lead stories this hour. japan's prime minister noda and u.s. president barack obama agreed to deepen the alliance and have a meeting later this month. noda and obama spoke by phone on tuesday. obama congratulated the leader and said he looks forward to working with him on a wide range of issues. noda relied that the alliance will continue to be the corner stone of japan's diplomacy.
he says he believes a strong u.s.-japan relationship is important for the asia-pacific region. they will have their first summit talks in late september on the side lines of a general assembly meeting in new york. noda will launch his cabinet friday afternoon. the new prime minister's close aid will become cleef cabinet secretary. the top government spokesperson. former education minister and the ruling democratic parties former affairs committee chief will join the cabinet. national policy member will be given a new cabinet post. reconstruction minister and nuclear crisis minister will retain their positions. former party secretary-general who supported noda in the democrat's recent's location will not assume a cap net post. it'll officially be launched after a ceremony with the